Saturday, October 13, 2012

Poem du Jour: "My Beard" by Shel Silverstein

From Where the Sidewalk Ends. Poem and drawing by Shel Silverstein.
Don't kid yourself, Shel Silverstein is much more than a "children's poet." In my experience as a high school teacher, he remains among the most popular of all poets, living in the rarefied air set aside in the hearts of middle and high school students which includes both Tupac Shakur and Dr. Seuss. Silverstein continues to be a wonderful "gateway poet" for (it would seem) at least two generations of readers. His poetry rhymes, is playful, and there is something very comforting about fun poetry that instantly makes students and adults pay attention.

"My Beard" is from his classic collection Where the Sidewalk Ends and is representative of both his playful nature and his ability to be mature for children in a manner that does not speak down to them... or me.

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